Penn State Love Stories: An RV Romance
Ron Graziano was famous around East Halls for having a dorm room that doubled as a cave, and it impressed everyone except the girl he’s sharing his love story with 27 years later.
Graziano and his roommate, who were both engineering students, used 30 rolls of aluminum to create a cave within their dorm room. Aluminum foil covered their walls and they and added little stalactites and stalagmites to enhance the atmosphere, as seen above.
People knew Graiziano for his unique room and it was because of his reputation that his future wife Bobbie already recognized him when the two met in the quad of East Halls in 1981. Even though she thought he was cute, it was not love at first sight. In fact, the two hardly got along, and the pair did not connect again for two years.
Ron was finishing his fifth year as an architectural engineer, while Bobbie was a graduate student pursuing her MBA. Her roommate also studied architectural engineer and it was through her that Bobbie and Ron became apart of a mutual friend group. Through their friends the two began to spend more time together, hanging out at parties or at happy hours downtown. At the time Bobbie worked as a barmaid at the Shandygaff. She noticed as her friendship with Ron progressed, he started making more frequent appearances at her work, although he insists it was for the music.
In January 1983 Penn State made it to the National Championship Game and like any respectable Penn State football fans would do, Bobbie and ten of her friends piled into a run-down RV to make the road trip to New Orleans. The journey there wasn’t an easy one. They had very little money, broke down in West Virginia, and drove through a hurricane, but by the end of the five-day drive, Ron and Bobbie had fallen for each other.
They dated for the next year until Ron graduated and took a job in York, and Bobbie eventually took a position with the CIA in Washington, D.C. Over the next four and a half years the two dated from different states, and although it was difficult at first, they eventually committed to seeing each other every weekend.
At midnight on New Years Eve Ron proposed and they were married nine months later, six years after originally meeting in the East Halls quad. Joe Paterno even came to their wedding (in cutout form).
They pair has been together for 27 years now and they have two children who followed in their Penn State footsteps. Their daughter graduated this past year and their son is currently a junior.
“Happy Valley will always be a special place for all of us and will forever bring us together for tailgates and football games,” Bobbie said.
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